cover image The Killing Site: A Liberty Lane Mystery

The Killing Site: A Liberty Lane Mystery

Caro Peacock. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8775-7

Set in 1847, Peacock’s underwhelming ninth Liberty Lane mystery (after 2017’s Fool’s Gold) finds Liberty the prisoner of unknown kidnappers, who abducted her after she attended a dinner at the London home of Godrich Maynard, a millionaire coal magnate, with her husband, Robert Carmichael. Robert was inside the house at the time she went outside and disappeared. Peacock is most effective in the sections in which Liberty, who has retired from active sleuthing now that she’s a wife and mother, tries to identify her kidnappers and determine their motive. Meanwhile, Robert desperately searches for her, aided by loyal friends, including Libby’s assistant, Tabby, who manages to infiltrate the Maynard household in pursuit of the theory that Liberty was set up by one of its members. Though she proves herself more than a match for her captors, Liberty comes across as little more than a stock heroine in this outing. Despite a surprising late shift in the target of the villains’ high-stakes plot, the ending offers few thrills. Series fans will hope for a return to form next time. (May)